From the TELEGRAPH:
A Christian-run bakery is facing legal action from a Government agency for refusing to produce a cake carrying a picture of the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the slogan “support gay marriage”.
Ashers Baking Co, based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, cancelled an order for a novelty cake with a picture of the puppets arm in arm printed onto the icing saying that it went against the directors’ religious beliefs.
They believe that producing the cake with the slogan and the logo of QueerSpace, a gay rights group the would-be customer supports, would amount to endorsing the campaign for the introduction of gay marriage in the province, and go against their religious convictions.
But the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has now written to the firm claiming that it is breaking the law.
A letter signed by the legal office orders the firm to “remedy your illegal discrimination” within seven days or be taken to court by the commission.
It claimed that refusing to print the cake amounted to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation against the man who placed the order.
The Christian institute, which is supporting the bakery, says it is not discriminatory for managers to refuse to endorse a political campaign.
Gay marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK in which it is not on the statute book.
Colin Hart, chief executive of the Christian Institute, said: “This is a sign of things to come exactly as we predicted.
“The Government repeatedly failed to listen to members of the public, lawyers, constitutional experts even its own MPs when they called for safeguards to protect those who back traditional marriage, especially those who work in the public sector.
“Now this nonsense, more usually associated with the public sector, is being applied to the private sector.
“This means millions of ordinary people who do not agree with gay marriage, face intimidation and the real threat of legal action from the forces of political correctness if they, out of conscience, decline to provide good or services to campaign groups they do not agree with or support.
“It establishes a dangerous precedent about the power of the state over an individual, or business to force them to go against their deeply held beliefs.”
The customer was unable to comment.
This is the exact reason i closed my 9 year cake business in January this year. I could see this sort of thing coming:
What the Government is saying is that this cake company has no right to refuse a customer. The article makes no mention of the sexuality of the customer and it certainly is not saying that the cake company is refusing to serve them because they are or might be gay. I’m sure if a gay person walked in and ordered a Thomas the Tank Engine cake they would have no problem in being served.
Would it be a matter of discrimination then if i walked in to the bakery and told them to make me a cake with the slogan “God does not exist” and they refused on religious grounds? Would that be discriminating against atheists?
What about if i wanted them to make a cake with the slogan “pro choice” and they refused on religious grounds? Would that be discriminating against women who choose to have an abortion?
It’s funny isn’t it – that this issue of social acceptance bullying does not seem to raise its ugly head in any other community other than the gay community. It’s almost as if they want to pick a fight…
I’m just sayin’.